Trump Implies That Ronny Jackson Should Withdraw VA Nomination

Trump's Doctor And VA Pick Ronny Jackson Accused Of Drinking On Job

The incident was reportedly just one of the drunken episodes involving Jackson and is being scrutinized by the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee.

"All I can tell you is we didn't initiate this discussion", Tester told host Ari Shapiro.

A top Senate Democrat says allegations against President Donald Trump's pick to lead Veterans Affairs involve him being "repeatedly drunk" when he was a White House physician.

Brian McKeon, who served as chief of staff for the National Security Council under Obama, said he does not recall Jackson ever drinking to excess or being under the influence, even on long trips overseas.

Tester, 61, who is in his second term, said senators had received reports dubbing Jackson "The Candy Man" because he freely dispensed drugs in the medical department - even on overseas flights. "That's what multiple people told us this was the case on several different trips".

"It's totally his decision", Trump said during a press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron.

"It's totally his decision", Trump said. I wouldn't do it. To be abused by a bunch of politicians that aren't thinking nicely about our country? I really don't think, personally, he should do it.

Trump obviously chose Jackson because he feels comfortable with him.

But he questioned why Jackson would want to put up with the scrutiny, which he characterized as unfair.

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Authors information: Seung Min Kim is a White House reporter for The Washington Post, covering the Trump administration through the lens of Capitol Hill.

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Asked whether he "categorically denied" the allegations against him, he said, "I'm looking forward to the hearings, so we can sit down and I can explain everything to everyone and answer all the senators' questions".

Senator Mazie K. Hirono, Democrat of Hawaii and a member of the Veterans Affairs Committee, said she had heard enough from colleagues to have "deep concerns" about the nomination.

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., a member of the Veterans Affairs Committee, said Trump didn't take the time to send over a fully vetted nominee. "We will continue looking into these serious allegations and have requested additional information from the White House to enable the committee to conduct a full review".

An inspector general report from the time says most of the blame for the situation fell on Dr. Jeffrey Kuhlman, the physician to President Barack Obama. "That's not acceptable", Tester said. "No, there was not", he said before brushing off questions about whether he would withdraw.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, who also sits on the Veterans Affairs Committee, told reporters Tuesday that lawmakers first learned of the allegations late last week, and they're seeking the Federal Bureau of Investigation background check.

"The allegations have come from people that are in the military, or used to be in the military, former military people who came forward". He also seems to assume no other medical doctors on the team were actually on call that night in question.

The Democratic opponents are going to "embarrass themselves", said Sen. "It's not a question of liking him; it's a question of what he's done in the past that would have an impact on this job". Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., a member of the panel.

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"(M) ost feel that Capt. Jackson's failures were primarily due to the destructive rapport with Capt. Kuhlman and that he has not had the opportunity to lead the WHMU without hindrance or support", according to an excerpt of the inspector general report obtained by NBC News.

"I'm not going to talk about who the people were or their credibility". He said he told Tester's staff about his interactions with Jackson. "There were complaints to the committee". She did not comment on the specific allegations against Jackson.

The information void plunged Jackson's nomination into peril faster than any other in a series of controversial Cabinet choices that have marked the Trump presidency. He defused doubts about the health and fitness of Trump in January, describing the president's medical condition in emphatically glowing terms.

Jackson, who was tapped after the president fired David Shulkin, is known by the public mainly for the effusive news conference in which he declared Trump so healthy that if he had a better diet he could live for 200 years.

Senators indeed should consider Dr. Jackson's abilities carefully.

Lawmakers were already preparing to press Dr. Jackson on his views on the role of private medical care for veterans, instead of the department's government-run health care system. Jackson now oversees a staff of several dozen in the White House Medical Unit. Major veterans service organizations are concerned he might oversee a push toward privatization. "And they didn't do a good job, and now we're doing it".

Since Trump also noted that Democrats are being "obstructionists", and tied the Jackson process to the Mike Pompeo nomination, it's worth noting that Republicans control the confirmation process in the Senate.

NPR's Scott Horsley and Domenico Montanaro contributed reporting to this story.

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